What is deleterious?

What Does deleterious Mean

Deleterious comes from a Greek word that can be translated as "destroyer" . The term refers to that which is poisonous or deadly . For example: "Experts affirm that it is a harmful insect for humans due to the toxicity of its venom " , "Aspiration of this type of substances produces a deleterious effect" , "He tried to remain calm, but soon he understood that he was in the face of a deleterious situation ” .

The deleterious, therefore, is something harmful , dangerous , harmful or harmful . Among its antonyms are concepts such as harmless or innocuous : “The blue substance that is in that container is harmless; the green substance, on the other hand, is deleterious " , " When we saw it for the first time, we thought it was a harmless reptile but, after analyzing its bite, we realized that it was deleterious " .

The deleterious genes or lethal are those subjected to processes of mutation or rearrangement causing them alterations in phenotypic expression. These genes occur in different alleles (gene sequences) that produce changes in the individual. The deleterious or lethal allele is the one that carries the genetic sequence that causes death. The gene that, when mutated, can produce a lethal phenotype is known as an essential gene.
It is interesting that there are genes that prevent the correct reproduction of a species. Here are some of the possible reasons:
* Not all of them threaten biological efficacy , as some of them begin their harmful effects in the stages after the most favorable moment for reproduction. A clear example is the gene that causes Huntington's disease (a neuropsychiatric disorder that generally affects people over 40 years of age), since the recommended age limit for human procreation is around 35 years;
* some are advantageous when you have only one copy, and for that reason natural selection cannot eliminate them completely. Such is the case of the gene that produces sickle cell anemia, since when you have two copies of it, resistance against malaria increases;
* Mutation can keep them present , although natural selection tries to eliminate them little by little. Neurofibromatosis, for example, is a genetic disease that produces tumors in our nervous system, and the gene that causes it mutates frequently (probably in one sex cell in every 4 thousand), so it is not possible to get rid of it completely;
* if the gene is not harmful in a habitat , it tends to appear more frequently than where it produces clearly unfavorable effects. Taking the example of the gene that causes sickle cell anemia, it is logical that it occurs very often in inhabitants of areas with a high probability of contracting malaria, since it is beneficial to them. The problem begins with migration, which carries deleterious genes to all parts of the planet;

* Perhaps natural selection has not completed its fight against certain genes. One reason for such "slowness" is that a gene may be beneficial to a population at one point in history, but later become harmful. When the organism no longer needs a gene to survive, it cannot immediately discard it, but instead evolution looks for a way to eliminate it over future generations.
The notion of deleterious is usually linked to an effect or a consequence. Something can be deleterious when it carries the possibility of significant harm, death, or destruction. Toxic substances, in that sense, are deleterious, although to varying degrees. The higher the toxicity, the more deleterious they are. The science that studies the deleterious effect of substances on living things is known as toxicology .

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